Emiliana Baldoni

And now, which is your country? Sincerity and fiction in the life stories of women victims of human trafficking

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Sincerity and Fiction; Life Stories; Integration between Interview and Participant Observation; Human Trafficking.

This paper aims to focus the key issue of sincerity or "adherence to the facts" in the biographical approach starting from a qualitative research on human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Italy based on eighteen life stories ("récits de vie") of young women from Eastern Europe who are included in social protection projects, in accordance with Article 18 of Legislative Decree 286/98. After arguing that "lies" and "fiction" are essential and unavoidable dimensions of prostitution phenomenon - as the latter represents a typical case of "emotion work" - this essay examines the role played by the fiction in the relationship between interviewer and interviewee, and provides, at the same time, some methodological indications on how, "within certain limits", it is possible to identify those mechanisms (conscious or unconscious) leading the interviewee to give a representation of her experience that doesn't conform to "reality", to foster sincerity and, finally, to evaluate the degree of reliability of the interviewee's statements.

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